On 26 April, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC and Britain's Octopus Energy Group have invested 30 million pounds ($37.36 million) into the Xlinks subsea power cable project, which aims to connect Morocco and the UK.
Nicholas Dunlop, Secretary-General of the Climate Parliament, said:
“This deal is a major vote of confidence in grid technology and its role in the clean energy transition. With recent figures suggesting the UK is lagging on investment in the energy transition, hopefully this will be a catalyst for further action, investment and political support for similar projects.
The common misconception that the intermittency of true renewables reduces their effectiveness and attractiveness for investment must be challenged. The solution is clear, as was laid out at COP26 by the Green Grids Initiative.
The sun, even taken on its own, provides limitless potential energy. Enough energy reaches the earth from the sun in a single hour to power the world for a whole year. We need to prioritise capturing, storing and distributing it.
As a global community we need a mass roll out of roof top solar plus an expansion of large-scale solar and wind power production in the best locations – in particular deserts, where strong sunshine is combined with cheap land, and where covering large areas with solar panels or mirrors does not displace food production. These energy rich locations need to be connected up to cities and towns via continental and inter-continental scale grids – clean energy superhighways.
This is no pie in the sky concept, as Xlinks have shown. The technology and the infrastructure capability exists and is ready to be unlocked at scale – with the right political will, and supporting private sector partnerships and investment to realise the huge economic opportunity of the net zero transformation. High voltage direct current transmission lines can transport energy over long distances – overhead, underground or underwater – with little loss. Governments around the world, including the UK, should be actively supporting and incentivising many more projects like these.
“If we move fast, there may still be time to stay within a global carbon budget that can avoid the worst consequences of climate change, while delivering sustainable, secure, and affordable energy for all.”